Gratitude, Mandala Series, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2016, photo © 2016 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
Posts Tagged ‘the practice of gratitude’
Posted in Art, Gratitude, Holidays, Mandalas, Personal, Practice, Seasons, Silence, Spirituality, Structure, tagged creating mandalas, end of the year rituals, giving thanks, inspiration, making a Gratitude List, seasonal rituals, Thanksgiving, the practice of gratitude on November 28, 2016 | Leave a Comment »
Posted in Art, Body, Bones, Dreams, Gratitude, Growing Older, Home, Life, Personal, Photography, Poetry, Practice, Seasons, Wake Up, tagged fire, Firekeepers, make positive effort for the good, self-doubt, the power of Gratitude, the practice of gratitude on November 27, 2011 | 7 Comments »
Cool To The Touch, by the Thanksgiving fire with friends, Droid Shots,
edited with Little Photo, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, November 2011, photo
© 2011 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
Gratitude unfolds, hot fire in the belly cool to the touch— River of self-doubt, I carry the light all the days of my life.
-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, November 27th, 2011
Posted in 25 Things, Art, Bones, Gratitude, Holidays, Mandalas, Practice, Seasons, Spirituality, Structure, tagged creating mandalas, giving thanks, gratitude for community, Gratitude Journals, Gratitude Mandala, making a Gratitude List, the power of Gratitude, the practice of gratitude on November 28, 2010 | 15 Comments »
Gratitude Mandala, Dymo LabelWriter 1895, Portfolio Brand Water-Soluble Oil Pastels, Prang Metallic Markers, Tul Permanent Markers, Black Sharpie, Crayola Colored Pencils, BlackBerry Shots, Minneapolis, Minnesota, November 2010, photo © 2010 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
Inspired by ybonesy’s journal post (This Thanksgiving Weekend, Make A Gratitude Journal), and with a little Holiday time on my hands, I took a different approach to my yearly Gratitude List. I still used the alphabet as a jumping off place. But instead of making a vertical list, I wound around the first page of the journal I’ll be using for my Journal Practice 2011. Then took the major categories of that list and incorporated them into a November mandala.
I always feel full and abundant after making a Gratitude List. The passing of time can be difficult, scary, life-threatening. But remembering what I am grateful for eases whatever pain I have felt. It tips the balance.
I want to move into the New Year giving thanks. Christening a new journal with a Gratitude list comes from a place of wholeness, leaving feelings of scarcity and lack in the dust!
Thanks for the inspiration, ybonesy. And I have so much gratitude for our red Ravine readers. I hope everyone is having a good Thanksgiving weekend.
-posted on red Ravine, Sunday, November 28th, 2010
-related to posts: The ABC’s Of A Prosperous 2008 – Gratitude, Feelin’ Down For The Holidays? Make A Gratitude List, A Simple Gratitude List, Reflection — Through The Looking Glass, I Am Grateful For The Alphabet 😉, Coloring Mandalas, On Providence, Old Journals, & Thoreau
Posted in Art, Doodling, Everyday Art, Fotoblog, Gratitude, Holidays, Practice, Seasons, Structure, Vision, Writing, tagged altered journals, altered Moleskine journals, Art playdates, doodles, giving thanks, Gratitude, gratitude for community, Gratitude Journals, Happy Thanksgiving, how to make a Gratitude Journal, inspiration, journal art, keeping a journal, lotería art, making a Gratitude List, making art, Moleskine art, Thanksgiving holiday, the power of Gratitude, the practice of gratitude, ybonesy by Roma Arellano on November 24, 2010 | 17 Comments »
Lotería Journal, altered Moleskine cover with ybonesy doodles (plus Caran d’Arch, gouache, and ink pen), design © 2010 by ybonesy, all rights reserved.
I love journals. I’ve written about my love of journals. I have doodle journals and writing journals, and I even have my first ever journal, a gift from my sister Bobbi, who got it for me as part of a Scholastic book order she made for her new class. She gave it to me about the time she started teaching: 1974. I was 13 years old, a newly minted teen, and my journal (it was actually more of a diary, although I’m not sure what the difference is) was the perfect place to log news of piddly babysitting jobs (for which it was not uncommon to make 75 cents!), swim lessons, and crushes. That early journal got me believing that any life—even one so boring as my own—was worth recording.
That’s the beauty of the journal. That it might collect the ordinary and occasional extraordinary goings-on of your existence. And that someday you might look back on it as one experiences the family photo album. Memory, insight, a looking glass into your world, or at least a snippet of it.
So it is not surprising that I’ve recently discovered the joy of making journal art. I’m not sure what else to call it. I take blank journals—the basic Moleskine works great—then figure out designs to create on the covers. It’s a fun project, one that can easily be done over a long holiday weekend.
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To make the Lotería Journal, which I fashioned after the Mexican Lotería cards, I used the following items:
- Moleskine or other journal – I like the Moleskine brand, but it is a bit pricey. Any simple journal will do; for this project it’s best to stay away from leather or cloth covers.
- Gesso – to apply to the cover so that you can color or paint the cover (the gesso acts both as a whitening agent to better absorb and reflect light in color, as well as a primer so that whatever you apply bonds well to the surface).
- Evenly sized images – for this journal I used my own, but you could cut images out of magazines or tear out cool papers and draw different designs on each one.
- Mod Podge – to glue the images to the Moleskine cover, and later, once the piece is completely done, I’ll paint the entire cover with Mod Podge to seal the design and give it a glossy finish.
- Paints and wax crayons – to add color.
- A black pen, preferably permanent, but if you use an impermanent one, just make sure it is completely dry, and when you do your final paint with Mod Podge, do a quick brush; don’t go back and forth or linger else the black ink will smudge.
- Brushes – a one-inch one for the Mod Podge and a small one for my paints (both of which I keep in water while I’m not using them).
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And given that we are in the Thanksgiving season, I can’t think of a better use of a lovingly created journal than to transform it into a Gratitude Journal. Now, folks out there may practice daily Gratitude, but for my part, this is an area that I’d like to improve. I want to spend more time giving thanks for what I have and less time wanting whatever it is I don’t have.
A Gratitude Journal can take several forms. One idea is to use it as a way to say Thank-You to someone in your life. My sister Janet once created this type of Gratitude Journal for me, although we didn’t call it that back then. But now as I think about it, that’s exactly what it was.
About thirteen years ago I organized a trip to Spain for my dad, Janet, another sister, and my sister-in-law. The five of us spent two weeks traveling all over the country, staying in unique and at times quirky places. An olive-farm-turned-bed-and-breakfast, a renovated monastery, and a former brothel, for example. We had a wonderful time, and afterward Janet made me a journal as a memento of our experience. Handmade paper adorned the front and back covers, and inside on a long single sheet of paper that she folded like an accordion, she made a collage of different scenes from the trip.
You could create a Gratitude Journal and inside turn it into a personalized Thank You to someone close to you. I know I often pull out the journal my sister made for me. It’s so much richer than a Thank You card.
A Gratitude Journal could also be something you keep for yourself over a certain period of time—say, the upcoming year—to help practice gratitude in your life. There are a lot of ways you can do this. For example, each day you could think about what it is you’re grateful for and then write about that particular topic. Or make a doodle about it, or do a collage on that page.
QuoinMonkey wrote a post at the end of 2007 titled Feelin’ Down For The Holidays? Make A Gratitude List. She made her list at the end of the year, as has been a tradition of hers for several years now. Here you can see her Gratitude List from 2007 looking forward to 2008, along with mine. And here are QM’s Gratitude Lists from 2009 and 2010. You could follow QM’s example and dedicate a sheet of paper to each letter of the alphabet and see what flows onto the page.
Or maybe your Gratitude Journal project is more about simply focusing this weekend on creating a beautiful cover for your journal. Maybe that in itself is the act of Gratitude, giving Thanks by allowing yourself to spend a few hours making art.
And speaking of giving Thanks, QM and I are immensely grateful for the community and inspiration we’ve received over the years from working together and from all of you.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
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Journal Art, mixed media journal covers—washi paper, Caran d’Arch, collage, small wooden canvases top two), postage stamp (third), stickers, etc., design © 2010 by ybonesy, all rights reserved.
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-Related to post On Providence, Old Journals, & Thoreau
Posted in Art, Body, Bones, Dreams, Everyday Art, Fotoblog, Gratitude, Life, Nature, Photography, Place, Practice, Seasons, Vision, Wake Up, tagged 90 days of BlackBerry 365, BlackBerry 365, BlackBerry 365 SlideShow, BlackBerry shots, cell phone camera, cell phone photography, I love my BlackBerry, love of photography, photography as art, red Ravine slideshows, the practice of gratitude, the practice of photography, things I learned from photography on April 2, 2010 | 31 Comments »
Gray Spring day in Minneapolis. Rain pings the windows of my Casket Arts studio, wind rustles the frayed telephone wires. I’m staring at a city shrouded in fog. A Westclox Big Ben on the table next to me ticks away the minutes; the first quarter of 2010 is history. March in Minnesota was one of the warmest and most snowless in 100 years.
In the context of a whole century, the 90 days I’ve persevered with the BlackBerry 365 Project seems like a small effort. In busy human terms, it feels like forever. Some days, the photographs are grayed out snapshots with little focus. Other days, I can see the image framed and hung on the wall. It’s the nature of creative effort. And the boundlessness of living.
Once a quarter, I’d like to acknowledge this strange little body of work with a slideshow of my favorites. The project makes me keenly aware of the passage of time. Endings. New beginnings. I am learning patience, the consistent ability to show up for myself, progress not perfection.
I am grateful for the support. Thank you. And if there is anything you notice about the photography — subject matter, framing, content, I’m all ears. What seems lacking, what’s appealing? Sometimes we are too close to projects and practices to see them clearly. Hearing from others can help tap into new veins of work.
Best Of BlackBerry 365 — First Quarter, favorites from 90 days of shooting & posting a phone photo a day, January 2010 – March 2010, all photos © 2010 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
Note: the full BlackBerry 365 set is posted on my Flickr account. Along with a daily commentary of little details about the photograph, where I took it, what I was doing that day. I’m excited to be heading into Spring. Expect days to move from white, ice blue, and gray to seaweed, azure, and copper green.
-posted on red Ravine, Friday, April 2nd, 2010
-related to post: BlackBerry 365: Things Loved, Things Learned
Posted in Body, Bones, Dreams, Gratitude, Life In Letters, Poetry, Politics, Practice, Vision, Wake Up, Writers, tagged American poets, celebrate poetry, Elizabeth Alexander, humility, lineage, Poetry, poetry groups, poets, Ruth Stone, the power of Gratitude, the power of poetry, the practice of gratitude on February 24, 2010 | 19 Comments »
Letter From Elizabeth Alexander, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 2009, photo © 2009-2010 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
Our Poetry & Meditation Group began meeting again in January. We celebrated new beginnings with the poetry of Ruth Stone (the poet mentioned in Carolyn Flynn’s piece An Evening With Elizabeth Gilbert & Anne Lamott). This Friday we’ll read the work of Pablo Neruda.
It’s hard to believe it was over a year ago when we gathered to learn more about poet Elizabeth Alexander. We went around the circle and read her poems. Then, in gratitude, sent a card thanking her for her work. A few weeks later, she would be reading at the inauguration of Barack Obama.
A few of us met in South Minneapolis that historic Winter day to watch the inauguration on the big screen at Sabathani. When Elizabeth got up to read, we knew a little about her life; we had read her poems. We never dreamed the poet would write back. Then, one frosty day in March, her letter arrived in Teri’s mailbox. We passed the parchment during poetry group:
My dear friends in Minnesota,
Thank you for your lovely card and my apologies for my late reply. I’ve found myself in an unusual whirlwind for the last few months.
It was indeed an honor to speak at the inauguration. One of the wonderful gifts that comes from reading is hearing from people like you. What a precious group you have! I hope it continues to flourish.
Last week I was listening to NPR’s Talk of the Nation. At the end of the segment Henry Louis Gates Uncovers ‘Faces Of America’ I was surprised by the voice of Elizabeth Alexander. She was responding to what Gates had uncovered after he traced her ancestry back to Edward Honeywell and Esther Power and King John of England. I thought of Elizabeth at the presidential podium. And I thought about her taking the time to respond to a card from a small Minnesota poetry group. How a letter from a young poet transcended the political. It meant the world to us. The card, the letter, the poems — the poet’s lineage.
Elizabeth Alexander At The Inauguration, Yale University, Letter From A Young Poet, Minneapolis, Minnesota, January & March 2009, photo © 2009-2010 by QuoinMonkey. All rights reserved.
-posted on red Ravine, Wednesday, February 24th, 2010
-related to posts: Got Poetry? (National Poem In Your Pocket Day), The Poet Writes Back — Gary Soto, Which Came First, The Grasshopper Or The Egg?, The Poet’s Letter — Robert Bly, Postcard From Billy Collins — Kicking Off National Poetry Month